For the fourth year in a row, trainer Chad Brown saddled the winner of the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes at Arlington Park. In fact, he sent out the top three finishers in the 2018 edition of the 1 3/16-mile turf contest.
“It's very rewarding for my staff and my owners and my mentor, I'm thinking about him right now, Bobby Frankel,” said Brown. “He loved this race. He loved coming to Arlington, a big supporter. He taught me so much and to be able to come back and use his training techniques, everything he taught me, to come here and have success in this race is really special.”
Peter Brant's Sistercharlie, the 8-5 favorite under John Velazquez, gave the jockey a Grade 1 double with a 3/4-length triumph over stablemate Fourstar Crook. Thais held on in a photo over Daddys Lil Darling to finish third.
Sistercharlie, a 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Myboycharlie, stopped the clock in 1:56.77 over a turf course upgraded from good to firm. It was her third top-level victory in the United States, improving her record to six wins from 10 starts and earnings of over $1.4 million. The win also earns Sistercharlie an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf this fall at Churchill Downs.
“She's very consistent,” Brown said. “She's the kind of mare any trainer would love to have.”
Thais jumped out of the gate on top, taking a two-length lead into the backstretch over stablemate Inflexibility. It was another several lengths back to Nyaleti, Daddys Lil Darling and Fourstar Crook, with Sistercharlie in her customary position near the rear of the field.
After a first quarter in :24.53, Athena made a middle move to jump into third position. Velazquez allowed Sistercharlie to track that rival, keeping her on the outside of rivals in about sixth position as the leader marked a half-mile in :50.53.
Athena made her bid around the far turn, but Sistercharlie had a bigger kick and overwhelmed her at the top of the stretch. Sistercharlie kicked clear down the lane, fending off a late bid from stablemate Fourstar Crook to win by three-quarters of a length. Thais held on to finish third, and Daddys Lil Darling had a tough trip at the rail to finish a good fourth.
“It was a perfect trip,” Velazquez said. “We broke a little slow like always. As soon as we went past the wire I looked for the position I wanted and I got it. Then I sat there and I saw Ryan Moore move on the outside into the backstretch and kind of pushed him out and he came in, and I kind of followed him from there. From the half-mile pole there was just one horse to beat so I put her right behind that one and when I asked her she responded really well.
“She's a really good horse but she has some quirks. She can run, though.”
Bred in Ireland by Ecurie Des Monceaux, Sistercharlie won three races in Europe and finished second in a Group 1 before she was brought to the United States. She has never finished worse than second in five starts for Chad Brown, and counts three Grade 1 victories on her resume.
Watch the race replay here:
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